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Cohen's lawyer says Trump told Cohen to commit a crime

U.S. President Donald Trump's former lawyer, Michael Cohen, leaves the Daniel Patrick Moynihan United States Court House past news media in lower Manhattan, New York City, U.S. August 21, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Segar

(Reuters) - An attorney for Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer who pleaded guilty in New York on Tuesday to campaign finance violations and other charges, said Trump directed Cohen to commit a crime.

“Today he stood up and testified under oath that Donald Trump directed him to commit a crime by making payments to two women for the principal purpose of influencing an election,” Cohen’s attorney Lanny Davis said in a statement.

“If those payments were a crime for Michael Cohen, then why wouldn’t they be a crime for Donald Trump?” Davis said.

Reporting by Eric Beech in Washington; editing by David Alexander